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Freshmen Free Central: Trackman Traits Top Pitches


Mason McRae
PBR Virginia/DC

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The expanded usage of data, and the importance of it in regards to player development and player assessment is a legitimate, undeniable tool used by high school, college, and professional teams across the country. Today we break down some of the data from our recent Freshmen Free Central event in Richmond, VA. See which players stood out in regards to Trackman data. 

Glossary Terms Intro & Links:

Induced Vertical Break: IVB
Vertical Approach Angle: VAA 
Horizontal Break: HB
Release Speed: RS or Velo
Release Height: RH or RelHei

Trackman Traits Top Pitches:

Justin Gunter

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: Buckingham
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Rise Baseball
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 183lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Justin Gunter’s fastball: Not only did Gunter throw the hardest fastball all day at 85.7 mph, but he also had the fourth highest zone rate (63.6%), eighth highest IVB (20.5 inches), and the third flattest FB of the day on a pitch in the zone (3.9 degrees). The most impressive part of Gunter’s fastball isn’t the fact that he throws so hard, but how well he controls the pitch at such a young age. Gunter's spin rates averaged out at 2,166 rpm, which is above average for his age. He does a great job of optimizing the raw spin with tilts around 12:15/12:30 and a high spin efficiency.



Ryan Sloan

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Jefferson Forest
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Invaders
  • Height: 6-3
    Weight: 165lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

 

Ryan Sloan’s curveball: The best indications of a good curveball are depth and velocity. Well Sloan had the fifth highest average CB velo. He was also the only pitcher to average an IVB < -10 inches and throw at least one pitch > 70 mph. Ryan’s average CB came in at 69.3 mph with -12.7 inches of IVB, and -8.6 inches of HB. He threw four CB’s, two of which had a tilt of 6:00 or 6:15. Because of this he gets almost complete topspin and very high spin efficiency; two necessary traits for a good 12-6 curveball.



Tucker Swails

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: SS
  • High School: Patrick County
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: TS Arsenal
  • Height: 5-10
    Weight: 160lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Tucker Swails' changeup: Threw it 90 minutes laterally of the fastball with velocity about 5% lower, and spin rates about 30% lower; these are both extremely ideal. Throwing the pitch consistently at 1:45, Tucker got heavy HB at just above 15 inches inches with 10.7 inches of IVB. Metrically, changeups are the hardest pitch to grade, so showing feel for the pitch and locating it are amongst the most important qualities of a good changeup. Which is what made Tucker's changeup good as he threw it for a strike 33% of the time, but half of the pitches thrown for a ball were at spots were he'd be able to get swings and misses.

 

Jack Weight

Class of 2024 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2024
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: Cosby
    State: VA
  • Summer Team: Rise
  • Height: 5-11
    Weight: 175lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Jack Weight’s slider: Jack’s slider averaged out at 2.2 inches of IVB, -14.2 inches of HB, and the highest slider spin rate of the day at: 2,351 rpm. He threw it at 70.94-73.01 mph getting majority gyro spin as well as some side spin on a pitch that profiles as a sweeping breaking ball. Jack’s best slider was thrown at 70.9 mph, getting 0.8 inches of IVB, and -14.0 inches of HB. He didn’t throw a slider for a strike but the metrics on it alone speak for themselves. Throwing the pitch for strikes more often would obviously make it a plus pitch for his age.